it has been a dream of mine for quite some time to visit thailand and last week i was able to do so. before visiting thailand, i had never been to asia so i didn’t know exactly what to expect when stepping off the plane. but let me just say that thailand exceeded my dreams and provided me with so many amazing memories that i will treasure my whole life.
here are 5 reasons why you need to visit thailand….
1. the scenery. every where i turned i felt like i was walking through a post card. from the high rises in bangkok to the jungle in chiang mai to the white sand in phi phi. every part of thailand is breathtaking in its own way.
2. the culture. before heading to thailand, i read a lot about the culture and etiquette. i think it is important to know customs of any country before heading there so you understand the people more and do not offend them (sometimes without even knowing it). for example, when entering a thai home or temple (or some restaurants and spas even) it is customary to remove your shoes. second fun fact – did you know thailand has had the same king for 60+ years? the king and all the royal family are held in extremely high regard and you must never speak negatively about them. if you do, you could find yourself in prison.
3. the spirituality. there are so many temples to see while in thailand and these temples are viewed as the holiest of places. our tour guide in bangkok, tao, told us that the country is 95% buddhist but they do have a catholic church in bangkok and respect those who are of different faith. he also explained to us that since most of the country is buddhist, they are very superstitious. you must not walk directly on the bottom of a door frame because there could be spirits there and they would be angry with you.
i also could not get over the plethora of monks roaming the streets. tao (our bangkok tour guide) told us that most teenage men study in the temple and are monks for at least a couple years (he was a monk before becoming a tour guide). i really felt such a strong sense of peace while traveling throughout the country.
4. the animal encounters. where else can you bathe, feed, walk and love on asian elephants? where else can you chill on the beach with monkeys trying to steal your food? where else can you scuba dive with sharks? okay there may be a few other places to do all of the above but that is beside the point. b is such an animal lover (as am i) and that is part of the reason we wanted to go to thailand so bad. there are so many opportunities to be around wildlife in their natural surroundings.
5. the food. i honestly can’t do a lot of spicy food but one of my favorite experiences while in thailand was taking a cooking class. it was eye opening for me to see how different curries were made ( & how to make them less spicy ha) and the origin of these dishes. did you know pad thai is the national dish but it has only been the national dish for 50+ years? for how old thailand is that was a bit surprising. i also loved how there was fresh juice around every corner!
oh thailand, i adore you.